Report on Ireland’s National Broadband Plan due in three weeks

19 Oct 2018

A report on Ireland’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), which was ordered by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar following the resignation of Denis Naughten as communications minister last week, is expected to be published within three weeks. According to The Irish Times, the examination of the matter is being undertaken by Peter Smyth, the independent auditor of the NBP, and the report is designed to assess whether the NBP – under which around 540,000 premises in rural locations would gain access to high speed broadband – has been ‘compromised’.

A decision to commission the report was taken after Mr Naughten resigned following revelations that he had held private meetings with David McCourt of private investment firm Granahan McCourt, which is heading up the sole remaining bidder for the contract to for the NBP rollout, the National Broadband Ireland consortium. A government statement regarding the matter said the planned report would ‘consider any implications for the procurement process of the meetings between the former minister…and representatives of the remaining tendering consortium’, while it will also aim to allow the government to ‘assess whether or not the integrity of the procurement process has been undermined by these meetings’.